My go-to scarf has always been a solid-colored, light-grey cashmere piece. Simple and plain, it’s as easy to pair with a Barbour jacket and jeans as it is with a sport coat and flannels.
There are times, however, when a bolder scarf is a better choice. That can mean something with an unusual pattern or texture, or something a little wider than normal (so you get some interesting folds when it’s wrapped around your neck). Granted, if not chosen well, a bold scarf can ruin a coherent look, but when selected thoughtfully, it can also add some important visual interest.
Some options to consider:
- Drake’s: This London maker is mostly known for their ties nowadays, but they got their start in scarves. They have conservative and traditional designs, as well as some that are more eye-catching. Check them out at their own online shop, A Suitable Wardrobe, No Man Walks Alone, and our advertiser The Hanger Project.
- Stoffa: A new men’s accessories label that focuses on interesting materials and production processes. Their scarves are woven on old, wooden, shuttle looms, which means they’re finished with a selvedge edge. Check them out at their site.
- Ikire Jones: Philly-based designer Wale Oyejide makes clothes that are inspired by his African heritage. This season’s scarves reinterpret classical European fine art with depictions of people of color.
- Post Imperial: Another African-inspired line, these pieces are made with traditional Nigerian techniques for fabric dyeing and printing.
- Inis Meain: This Aran maker has textured scarves for those who want something on the quieter side of bold. Carson Street Clothiers carries some options, while Hartford York has a simple green ribbed scarf on deep discount.
- Grei: A relatively new company with the kind of designs you’d expect to find at some chic, minimalist, fashion boutique in NYC. Find them online at Unionmade, Steven Alan, and Need Supply.
- Begg: I like the subtle fringed edge on their oversized Kishorn model, which you can find at their site, Trunk Clothiers, and No Man Walks Alone. Although solid-colored, that edge will lend some visual interest when you circle the scarf around your neck.
- Lovat & Green: Oversized scarves designed by Man 1924’s Carlos Castillo. Available at Frans Boone and Exquisite Trimmings.
- Stephen Schneider: A Belgium designer known for his beautiful textiles. These are great if you want something a bit more modern. Available at No Man Walks Alone, Opening Ceremony, Other Shop, Gravity Pope, and Forward.
- Kapital: A Japanese label with a style that can be described as half nomadic and half wabi sabi. Their scarves are perhaps the most colorful and whimsical part of their line. Check them out at Unionmade and H. Lorenzo.
- Gustin: A striped wool scarf is available from our advertiser Gustin. Just the right kind of boldness to pair with things such as chore coats and jeans.
- Richard James: A Savile Row tailoring firm known for their more fashion-orientated take on traditional menswear. Even something such as this burgundy scarf is a little bolder than your usual dotted design (see above for an example of how it can be worn).
- Fairbault Woolen Mills: Not quite bold, but at least different from your usual stripes, checks, and solid-colored pieces. Perhaps good for people skeptical of the options above. You can find Fairbault’s scarves at Odin, Target, and Sierra Trading Post. As usual, if you buy from Sierra Trading Post, make sure you use one of their DealFlyer coupons, which can knock 25-45% off the listed price.
(photos via The Sartorialist, Chilljin, GQ, and Four Pins)